How to hire a property manager for real estate?

July 11, 2018

People with a huge number of assets need a caretaker to manage their property and it is the biggest decision one needs to make as an owner.

Many owners manage their property on their own or with the help of an employee often called as the property manager.

Property manager don’t come cheap. So for this, first of all you need to decide is whether you need one or not. You should consider hiring property manager only if:

  • You have several properties or rental units.
  • You don’t live near your rental property.
  • Your time is limited.
  • You can afford the cost.
  • You are suddenly inundated with management task.

If the above items are check-marked on your list, it means you need one. But how do you filter the best from the flock?

Below are the five key things need to ask a property manager candidate before you hire them:-

Contract Documents or an Owner’s Manual

The first thing you need to check is the owner’s manual. So that you can gauge their work and get to know what to expect in certain situations. Things like ambiguity and assumptions regarding the property should be should be removed at all costs, to avoid confusion later on.

Items to address in the manual could include the following:

  • When is the cash flow paid?
  • When and how to get statements?
  • How they deal with late rents?
  • On what date the eviction notice is sent out?
  • How often the property is checked?
  • How are expense expenditure held?

With this manual of policies and procedures one could ensure what to expect from the property manager.

Communication Skills

Effective communication serves as the heart and the lungs for every business transactions. Therefore, setting the rules for regular meetings and discussions is critical.

This varies from the owner to owner. One may think that no news is a good news while others may demand every detail about the property.

And this could be done through a phone call, by agreeing on time and frequency such as, once in a month, or agreeing to an email volume that can accommodate both parties.

Initial Property Inspection Drill

Now, after settling all the things, you want your property manager to inspect your property. You should help him with knowing every detail on property. The manger with this will prepare a ‘building file on the property which will act as central holding spot for all property details.

Some key items are the following:-

  • Taking pictures (professional ones are recommended)
  • Documenting general condition of common areas.
  • Roof and window condition.
  • Functioning keys for all doors.
  • Elevator details
  • Central air system.

A well documented building file can be very useful for both owners and the property manager.

Tenant Management

Tenants are the most important tasks for most of the owners and the property managers. You want your manager to take time to go and meet with each of your tenants. This goes a long way to building and cultivating great relationships.

Technology Aspects

When you work with a professional management firm, chances are that you will be provided with web-based portal to access your property details.

In most cases, you might be using the portal more often than you speak to your manager, so it could be a key component to your overall management solution.


These are some important questions that must be need be asked and known before hiring a property manager. Property contributes major proportion to one’s wealth. So, one shouldn’t overlook the emphasis which should be put on the boarding process of a reliable property manager.

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